With the new school year approaching, I recommend reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel, by Firoozeh Dumas.
Zomorod Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name–Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home.
I picked this book up because I saw that it took place in the 1970’s which I thought would make for a fun setting. Zomorod, or Cindy’s, family is from Iran but they love living in America. Even though Cindy is from Iran, she’s just a kid trying to fit in and make friends, like a lot of us. The historical events, like revolts taking place at that time in Iran, made me want to do a little research on Iran and American relations. A little bit of humor and a little bit of history make this an appealing read!
Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J DUMAS.
Today I recommend: Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
When Lida and her sister are caught by the Nazis they are separated. Lida is sent to a slave labour camp and must work from dawn to dusk on bread and soup, without shoes and wearing only a thin dress. Even if she survives the war, will Lida ever see her sister again?
This book grabbed my attention right away and I couldn’t put it down. This is a fictionalized account of young Ukrainian Lida’s experiences in Nazi work camps but it is based on facts and interviews as explained in the excellent author’s note. It addresses all of the horrors of the Holocaust without being too graphic in its descriptions. The strength of Lida and her struggles will hook you and you’ll feel emotional as you root for her. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SKRYPUCH.
If Making Bombs for Hitler sounds interesting you might also enjoy: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Juvenile Fiction J LOWRY). For other books about WWII check out: Book Review: Brave Like My Brother
Today I recommend: Brave Like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobleman.
When Charlie’s older brother Joe is called up in 1942, Charlie learns about the tedium and dangers of war through Joe’s letters–and his brother’s bravery in dealing with a spy as D-Day approaches, finally gives Charlie the strength to stand up to the local bully.
This is a really nice historical fiction book that focuses less on the war and more on the relationship between the two brothers. Most of the book is written in the form of letters from Joe to Charlie, and the format makes for an interesting but not too intense tale. Older readers may be more interested in The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley but this is an excellent story for younger readers. This book can be found in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NOBLEMAN.
This week I finished reading Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt.
When the teacher assigns a pen pal project to the class, 11-year-old Tate chooses the soon to be famous (in then, 1948) country western musician Hank Williams. She writes him letters throughout the school year, sharing everything about her life in Louisiana. She writes about her little brother and her dog, her talented mother- who is in jail, and her own dreams of becoming a famous singer.
Imagine a time before the internet and social media. A time when you had maybe one chance to hear your favorite singer on the radio, and if you missed it, you had to wait another day or another week to hear them again. There is a lot to learn about what life was like in a post-WWII southern town. Writing and mailing letters and looking out for your favorite radio program made me think of how different things are today! If you like historical fiction or classic country western music, try Dear Hank Williams. If you can, I also recommend reading it with some Hank Williams music playing in the background. Maybe you’ll become as big a fan as Tate!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HOLT!